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U.S. Secretary Of State Raises Rights Issues In Kazakhstan


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is welcomed upon her arrival in Astana on November 30.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is welcomed upon her arrival in Astana on November 30.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton raised the issue of imprisoned journalists in Kazakhstan as she arrived in the capital, Astana, ahead of an OSCE summit scheduled to start on December 1.

Clinton spoke at a university in Astana and told the audience it was important that "governments don't overreact" to information they do not want made public.

Clinton mentioned the editor of "Alma-Ata Info," Ramazan Esergepov, who was jailed in early 2009 after being found guilty of revealing state secrets, as well as rights activist Yevgeny Zhovtis, also jailed in 2009 for vehicular manslaughter at a trial international and local rights groups said was unfair.

Clinton called on the university audience to "encourage the changes that will benefit the people of Kazakhstan in terms of democracy and human rights."

After the OSCE summit in Kazakhstan, Clinton will also visit Kyrgyzstan, which hosts a U.S. air base that is important for resupplying international troops in Afghanistan.

She also will visit Uzbekistan and stop in the Persian Gulf nation of Bahrain.

compiled from agency reports
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